Emily Barragan


Atlanta, Georgia

Academic Interests

Computational Media, Computer Science, & Entrepreneurship 

Fun Fact

I had a bad experience with fish sticks in elementary school and haven’t had seafood since. 

In my free time, I find myself analyzing skincare and makeup routines, taking photos and editing them, and printing pictures to paste into scrapbooks. I find that these activities are innovative expressions of personal identity. In a way, they have steered me to pursue a degree in technology. Specifically in Computational Media, a combination of computer science with visual and media studies. I’d like to further explore the intersection between beauty and AI through independent work as well.

Apart from my personal and academic interests, I value connecting other aspects of my identity. I participate in Mi Gente, a Latinx student organization at Duke, by seeking community at events and through mentorship. I am a part of Duke’s Society of Hispanic Engineers (SHPE) and Duke Lower-Income, First-Generation Engagement (LIFE). Additionally, I am a first-year representative for Diversity++, a student organization for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students in computer science. Outside of school, I am a Chapter Operations Specialist for the Hispanic Organization Promoting Education (HOPE), helping collect and interpret the high schools’ chapters data. Overall, I aspire to represent my Latinx identity and encourage students with similar backgrounds to take that initial step toward higher education.

What do you like about being a SPIRE Fellow?

Coming to Duke, I was scared about meeting people and finding my community. However, during and after orientation week I quickly made friends within my different identities. I felt included and a part of something bigger. Duke has really become like a second home. 

Emily Barragan
Emily Barragan